February 18, 1930 – August 11, 2019
Kenneth L. (Ken ) Smalley was born in Custer City, Oklahoma, on February 18, 1930. His parents were Richard E. Smalley and Leila Floy (Fergason) Smalley. The Smalley family moved to Weatherford, Oklahoma, where Ken attended school through the 5th grade. In 1941 the family moved to Clinton, Oklahoma where Ken graduated from high school in 1948, but not before leading the high school teams as a standout in football, basketball, and baseball. He entered Southwestern State College at Weatherford in 1949 and after completing his freshman year, transferred to the University of Oklahoma.
During his first year at OU, Ken saw a beautiful co-ed at a fraternity party. Even though he didn’t get a chance to meet her that night, he told his roommate he had seen the girl he was going to marry. During his junior year, the Sigma Phi Epsilon social fraternity elected him president. One of his “duties” was to escort the fraternity sweetheart to a dance. The sweetheart was Janet M. Glasgow, the girl he had vowed to marry the first time he saw her. On September 5, 1953, his dream came true when they were married in her hometown, Edmond, Oklahoma.
After graduation from OU with a BS degree in engineering in 1954, Smalley joined Phillips Petroleum Company. His career with Phillips began in Dumas, Texas, in the Natural Gas Department. In 1955, he entered the US Army Corps of Engineers. He was stationed at Ft. Belvoir, Virginia; Ft. Carson, Colorado; and Ft. Leonard Wood, Missouri during his two years of service. After receiving his discharge as a First Lieutenant, Smalley rejoined Phillips. He advanced through several assignments in the Chemicals Department before being assigned to the International Department.
In 1964 he became Sales Manager for the Far East and Southwest Pacific with headquarters in Tokyo. In 1966 he was named President of Sodefine S.A. in Paris. In 1968, he moved to Brussels as Vice President, Sales for Phillips in Europe and Africa. In 1972, he was named President of Phillips Petroleum Chemicals Europe and Africa. During his assignment in Brussels, the Belgian government knighted him in the Order of Leopold for his role in developing industry in Belgium. In 1977 he returned to the Bartlesville, Oklahoma headquarters and was named Vice President of the Minerals Group in 1981. In 1985, he was elected Senior Vice President and a member of the Management Committee of Phillips. He was also named President of Phillips 66 Natural Gas Company in 1987. He was with Phillips for 38 years, retiring in 1992.
Smalley served on the Board of Directors of El Paso Corporation, El Paso Tennessee Pipeline Company and Gulf Terra Partners. He also served as a Director of WestStar Bank in Bartlesville. He was Chairman of the Board of the International School of Brussels, a director of OK Mozart, Inc., a Trustee of the Bartlesville Community Center Trust, and a member of Preston Hollow Presbyterian Church in Dallas.
The Smalleys had three daughters, Jill (Mrs. Tom) Arbour of Baton Rouge, Louisiana; Kathy (Mrs. Eric) Zolt of Los Angeles, California; and Lee Anne Smalley of Dallas. Jill and Tom have two sons: Robbie, married to Laura, and Jeff, married to Brittany, who gave Ken his great-granddaughter Ashby Claire. Lee Anne has a son, Will, and a daughter, Grace. Ken also has a sister, Mrs. Mary Lou Herndon of Tulsa, and a brother and sister-in-law, Mr. and Mrs. Jack Smalley of Phoenix.
Ken’s wife, Jan; his parents and his older brother, Richard, preceded Ken in death.
Ken’s daughters were startled on reaching adulthood to learn that they weren’t the center of the universe to everyone, but at least they remained so to their father. And, generally acclaimed as the greatest grandfather ever, Pop had a close personal and individual relationship with each of his four grandchildren and was well on his way to the same with the newest addition to the family, his great-granddaughter. We miss him!
Ken requested that those who wish to make a contribution in his memory do so to their own favorite charity. Classic Ken Smalley.
A memorial service will be held at Arlington Hall at Lee Park in Dallas, Texas on Sunday, August 25, 2019 at 11 am.